At re:publica 2019, GIG member Nidhi Mittal from India was nominated to participate in the Plastic For Good challenge organized by Distributed Design Market Platform, co-funded by Creative Europe to work with Precious Plastic in Eindhoven and beta test their new sheets & beams made out of recycled plastic and design products using their brand new version 4 machines.
“The product that I had made is a portable, convertible backpack+desk along with two fellow makers, Augustin and Moritz. We explored the qualities and possibilities of beams made out of recycled plastic.”Nidhi Mittal
Backpack with integrated desk made by Nidhi, Augustin and Moritz Image courtesy: Distributed design market platform
Many of the things which are taken for granted in schools of developed countries such as bags, books, desks, and chairs are often considered a privilege in developing countries. Most of the schools in rural parts of India lack these basic amenities which results in kids carrying heavy books in flimsy plastic bags, walking for miles and upon reaching school, they then end up sitting on dusty floors all day long with bad posture, bad handwriting, poor eyesight and that makes it really difficult for them to concentrate on studies.
“The idea was to make a backpack with an integrated table which is portable, lightweight and easily replicable for everyone to be able to make, improve or adapt to their local needs. We managed to achieve these properties by using recycled plastic beams which is extremely malleable, and colourful along with layers of waste plastic bags heat pressed together. To sum it up, the experience was quite intensive and overwhelming as we all worked together as a community to solve one of the most pertinent issues of all times- Plastic.”
Watch the short documentary of the project:
The project is open source and can be downloaded.